TCRM: Father Involvement and Relationship Quality

TCRM Paper Session 4

Rob Palkovitz, Katrina Akande

Discussants: Geoffrey Brown and Sarah Schoppe-Sullivan

Presider: Kevin Shafer

12:15 PM
2:00 PM
Royal Palm 3
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About the Session

Expanding Our Focus from Father Involvement to Father-Child Relationship Quality

Rob Palkovitz, Ph.D., is Professor Human Development and Family Sciences at the University of Delaware. His doctorate is in Developmental Psychology from Rutgers University

Across myriad ways to conceive and measure paternal relationships, most incorporate ways to gauge father involvement. While father involvement is a well-established and important component of understanding fathering, it offers circumscribed understanding of key characteristics of father-child relationship quality, such as father-child attachment, paternal style (e.g. warmth and directiveness), and psychological closeness. Synthesizing theoretical and empirical literature across broader indicators of father-child relationship quality affords fuller consideration of developmental trajectories of father-child relationships as well as outcomes for both fathers and their children. Implications for conceptualization, operationalization and practical steps toward new measurement are discussed.

Developing and Testing Nonresident Father Involvement Models With Multiple Mothers

Katrina Akande, Ph.D., is on the faculty in the Human Development and Family Studies Department at Auburn University.

Many past studies have collected fathering data without asking parenting questions relative to the number of mothers with whom fathers share children. This pilot study demonstrates the importance of collecting data from nonresident fathers relative to the number of mothers with whom parenting responsibilities are shared. Participants were recruited from two cities in a southeastern state (n = 107 Black fathers). This study used a web-based questionnaire to measure father involvement relative to a specific mother with whom the father is parenting. The preliminary results indicate that dimensions of father involvement may be different for each set of nonresident children.

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